Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has fired the top two officials of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, for mismanagement and fostering an atmosphere of defying Navy rules and regulations.
The school’s president and provost were fired after an investigation by the Navy’s inspector general. The investigation found that the president, Daniel Oliver, failed to comply with naval and federal regulations. He also circumvented federal hiring authorities and inappropriately accepted gifts from a private foundation that supports the school.
The provost, Leonard Ferrari, also accepted gifts from the foundation and did not comply with Navy regulations.
Both Oliver and Ferrari authorized the foundation to repay themselves, faculty members, and staff for expenses they could not otherwise use school funding to buy.
According to the inspector general’s report, Oliver arranged for an unidentified woman to be hired as a contractor so she could be paid more money than the school could legitimately offer.
The report said Oliver circumvented federal salary limits after the woman turned down the school’s initial salary offer of $162,000, with a recruitment bonus of $25,000. The offer was the maximum allowed under federal salary caps in 2009.
The inspector general’s report said Oliver arranged for an existing school contractor, Digital Consulting Services, to hire the applicant for a salary of $275,000, which she accepted.
“We conclude President Oliver’s conduct amount to waste and gross management,” the report said.
Daniel Oliver is a retired vice admiral and naval aviator. He had been president of the school since April 2007. Leonard Ferrari has been provost since 2006.
Mabus has appointed Rear Adm. Jan Tighe to serve as interim school president, and O. Douglas Moses, the current vice provost of academic affairs, as the acting provost.